The Dahshur Pyramids: Next day we want to go south of Cairo to Dahshur to the red and the bent pyramid. And we loose our way driving through the oasis back and forth. A friendly old Egyptan leads us out of the oasis – we follow his large US Car. But it is interesting in this oasis away from the beaten track there is a complete different life. The people here are self contained and plant their crops on the watered fields – everything they need to live.
Finally we find the Dahshur Pyramids, they cannot be overlooked and we stop directly in front of them. We want to walk around the bent pyramid. The architects were looking for a method to build a pyramid with smooth plain sides. They started with the same steep angle as they did with the step pyramid. When they half way to the planned heights of 105 metres realized that the pyramid was instable they reduzed the angle from 54 degrees to 43 degrees and layed the stones in horizontal layers. That is why this pyramid has this unusal shape and is bent half way. Most parts of the outer mortar is still intact and shows how the pyramids originally were looking.
We enjoy the atmosphere here and the mystical aura, that covers the graves. The area is guarded by tourism police, who patrol around the pyramids and take care nothing is touched. They also take care of the tourists and explain a little bit to get bakshis, the word for tip, to improve their income. At one side there is a small pyramid, eventually here a high minister is buried.
The police men are very keen to get money, which we will still see on many excarvation sites, where lots of tourists are. I think that nuisance only will stopp when these people are paid properly, but there is still a far way to go. We do not let our mood spoil and have a picnic in front of the pyramid in the shadow of our vehicles. We have coffe and cake and are pleased all together.
Tara has to stay in the vehicle, as we got a visitor, which is not very appreciated by Tara. Food competitors she does not like at all.
This dog is begging for food. We wonder how it can survive here, because there is nowhere water and settlements are far away. Additionally the dog is very shy and doesn’t come very close.
A few hundred metres away rises the red pyramid. It is the oldest real pyramid in the world. Its name derives from the red color of the stone, that appeared when the mortar was rotten. The architects of the bent pyramid had learned by expierence. They built the red pyramid with the same lower angle of the bent pyramid. It is therefore the flattest of all egyptian pyramids. With its 109 metres it is as high as the bent one, but because of the angle it has a longer basis. With the red pyramid the high time in pyramid constructing was reached. All techniques had so far been developed and problems had been overcome.
Today we are lucky because there are not many people araound and so you experience another atmosphere as at the Gizeh pyramids. Why these ones here are not so frequently visited remains unclear for us, because we think, that these are much more impressing than those in Gizeh.
We enjoy the last evening hours, then we are sent away from the Dahshur Pyramids, because the area is closed. Anyway we still have to go back to Cairo to the campsite. The trip along the channel is interesting, we see strange and unusal things there.